Rosary & Marian Apparitions: Episode 2

banner_for_videosScreen Shot 2020-04-29 at 10.56.07 AM copyTHE ROSARY & ST. DOMINIC


This article first appeared in The Rosary Light & Life – Vol 49, No 5, Sep-Oct 1996

By Father Paul A. Duffner, O.P

The Apostolic Fathers –
Necessary, fundamental criticism, rosary is not biblical. Superstition or idolatry leveled. Grace we can go back to earliest moments in the Church
Reflecting on Mary helps to understand Jesus

St. Ignatius of Antioch is one of earliest post-Biblical Christian authors. His letters to the various churches he encountered on the way to his martyrdom in Rome offer a wealth of information about the early Church. As was typical at this time, he does not say much about Our Lady, but what he does say is quite revealing. Ignatius’ importance in this regard is his witness to some of the earliest liturgical traditions in the Church. In his letters, he offers various professions of faith, undoubtedly used in many liturgical celebrations. All of these creeds mention Mary and present her as the mother of Christ according to his human nature, as God the Father is his father according to His divine nature. In his letter to the church in Ephesus, he writes, “There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit, both made and not made, God existing in flesh, true life in death, both of Mary and of God, first passible and then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Ephesians 7.2). The motherhood of Mary becomes a part of God’s plan of salvation, and Mary has the honor of being the one who inserts Christ into the line of David’s descendants, thus allowing him to fulfill the messianic prophesies. He affirms this in his letter to the church in Tralles, “Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly born, and ate and drank. He was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; He was truly crucified, and truly died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. He was also truly raised from the dead . . .” (Trallians, 9.1)

In his time, Ignatius was struggling against the heresy of Docetism, a heresy which denied the reality of the Incarnation. According to this heresy, Jesus was not truly a man, but was rather a kind of spiritual phantasm. [Human beings are always at battle physical & spirit. Rosary unites something tangible while meditating on a high level of spirituality] They considered it undignified for God to have a human body. Because of his contesting of this heresy, Ignatius emphasizes strongly the fact that Christ was truly born from the Virgin Mary, thus testifying to the Church’s belief in the Incarnation, and the value of Christ’s redemptive action. Mary truly engendered the flesh of Christ, she truly carried him about in her virginal womb, and she truly gave birth to Him. This was all a part of God’s saving plan

Union physical & spiritual, counters desire for only a spiritual component. Passibility  & impassibility, paseo suffering, ability to suffer from Blessed Mother. Impassibility from His divinity. Jesus speaks boldly to dignity to suffering. Passibility inherent to love God has for His people

Lord created straightforward, difficult fraught with suffering to redeem man without compromising human freedom